Oh what a difference eight weeks makes.

The annual IntraFish Seafood Executive Outlook survey wasn't very far out the door before COVID-19 took hold, completely re-calibrating the sentiment of executives from the world's largest seafood companies.

IntraFish collected survey responses from around 200 of the top executives in the global seafood industry in two surveys, one in early February and again in mid-April.

In the February survey, just 8 percent of top seafood execs said they lacked confidence in their company's ability to grow over the next 12 months.

But the mood grew sharply more pessimistic in two short months with the global spread of coronavirus. In the second survey in April, 33 percent of survey respondents said they were not confident in future company growth.

Survey respondents were also asked about their anticipated capital expenditures. In February, only 6 percent of those surveyed expected a decline in capital expenditures over the next 12 months. By comparison, the outlook turned bleak in April, with 29 percent expecting a decline.

Despite the decline, several executives were undeterred by the downturn, with 31 percent saying they were moving forward with CAPEX plans in the next year.

When asked what are the most pressing challenges, most respondents in the February survey chose "finding qualified staff." Jusst two months later, coronavirus, seafood consumption and price pressures were identified as top challenges in the sector.

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) were another area where executives remained surprisingly bullish, with 45 percent saying in our second survey that they expect there to be higher levels of consolidation over the next year.

Full results of this exclusive executive survey of the seafood industry is part of the newly released IntraFish Business Intelligence report, "Investing in Seafood."

The report offers a comprehensive look into the top M&A deals of 2019 and 2020 and their impact on the global seafood industry.

While the level of M&A activity in the seafood sector continued its torrid pace at the dawn of 2020, the landscape changed dramatically by the end of the first quarter as a result of the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a snapshot of what the report covers:

  • Over 140 M&A deals were completed in the aquaculture, fisheries and seafood sectors in the past 19 months. Find out who's buying, who's selling and which sectors are hottest now.
  • Learn who's driving the deals with profiles of the 50 most important private equity investors, advisors and financial institutions in the space.
  • Get inside the minds of the industry's top executives with our exclusive seafood executive survey on the industry outlook post-coronavirus.
  • Benchmark management salaries and their company performance with our exclusive seafood CEO pay ranking. Find out why investors are rushing into the aquaculture and seafood industries

Learn more about the “Investing in Seafood” report here . Questions? Reach out to Kim Tran from IntraFish’s Business Intelligence at Analysis@IntraFish.com.